Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Baltimore Tech Breakfast - Meet Baltimore's CIO @christonjes #bmoretechb

This morning is the Baltimore Tech Breakfast (#bmoretechb). This is the largest regular technology meetup in the Baltimore area. Kudos to Ron Schmelzer of Bizelo for keeping this meetup growing. This month we have a packed house of nearly 200 people.

Here is the Agenda for the morning:

Agenda for August 2012 BTB:
8:00 - 8:10 - Get yer Bagels & Coffee and chit-chat
8:10 - 8:15 - Introductions, Sponsors, Announcements - Ronald Schmelzer
8:15 - 8:25 - MindGrub's Mobile Games - Todd Marks
8:25 - 8:35 - SurveySnap - Ryan Sears
8:35 - 8:40 30 Second Lightning "Shout Outs"
8:40 - 8:50 - Baltimore City CIO - Chris Tonjes
8:50 - 9:00 - RenterResume - Joshua Hines
9:00 - 9:05 30 Second Lightning "Shout Outs"
9:05 - 9:15 - KnotFriends (Update!) - Tony Bagdon
9:15 - 9:25 - Parking Panda (Update!) - Nick Miller
9:25 - 9:30 30 Second Lightning "Shout Outs" & Last Words

It is great to meet so many friends from around the Baltimore Area. People like the OpenRange Video team who record the event. The team who are currently in stealth mode. Eli The Computer Guy.

Todd Marks - Mindgrub Mobile Games

Gaming is one of the divisions that has grown quickly.

Realized that first person shooters were going to go mobile. They have brought together Social, Location and Mobile.

TAG is a game of tagging your friends using your iPhone. Augmented Reality first person shooter.

Also produced Zac & Haley Scuba Adventures produced for Shark Week on Discovery Kids. 

Gaming is big in Baltimore area. Local colleges have gaming tracks in college. This brought the industry here. Mobile gaming is really expanding quickly.

Income is not coming from games. Partnering is essential for promotion. You need more marketing dollars than development dollars to get traction. 

Survey-Snap - Ryan Sears

Targeted for Architects, engineers and facility managers. 

Survey-Snap is Creating Building Surveys on mobile devices. Taking an analog data collection process to the digital tablet.

Neat ability to add pins to the drawing and add comments and notes to the tags.

Annotation, sketches, audio and video can be added and tagged to a picture or drawing.

Presenting this material is a challenge for architects and building managers. Survey-snap makes the process easy by creating a PDF with all the pictures and annotations laid out.

This is a Software as a Service offering. Currently in beta.

The software can work in other verticals: Event planners, Insurance adjusters. 

Feedback suggests over 100 vertical applications.

The system is modular and will provide a marketplace for these vertical applications.

The system will support offline use. There will also be a data export option.

Baltimore CIO - Chris Tonjes

Chris is 37 days in to his new job.  
Things to improve:
1. The city's phone system

re-focusing the stakeholders. 

2. Emergency Communications 

Old with many single points of failure.

3. 911- Computer aided dispatch

Advancing the project. Two phases. Phase 1 in 6 months.

4. 311 - CRM System

Funding to replace it but want's to do something more modern, lightweight and open.

5. Data Center updates

Two very old centers. Antiquated. Still using IBM mainframe with VM and tape. Legacy applications bring in over $1B per year. 

From strategic perspectives in an interesting position: An opportunity to rebuild an IT department. 

New financial models. Hiring opportunities with probably 50 openings.

Pushing to move very quickly. This is a CIO that uses Google Docs and Dropbox.

Promoting OpenData.

Having a pro-active CIO and a forward thinking IT department being constructed this makes Baltimore a potentially great place to grow a technology company.

What does the CIO need from the tech community?

- "A little bit of patience". Need some breathing room to mitigate some existing conditions. 

- Give input - send email. Input is welcomed. - Joshua Hines

Renting made simple. The of renting.

Provides a dashboard for Landlords.

Allows renters to setup their profiles. 
Renters pay a one-time fee of $35. Pay once instead of for each rental application. 
Background checks are performed. Eviction database check. Criminal history.

Fee is good for 30 days. Renewals at a lower fee.

Launching in Q1 of 2013.

Also have enterprise solutions for property managers.

KnotFriends (Update!) - Tony Bagdon

A tie swapping service.

$14.95 for three ties. They take a cut on each transaction. No cost to sender. Receiver/Buyer pays.

I have suggested to them that they should do a themed tie groupon style deal. This would be great at various times of year such as St Patricks Day, Christmas etc.

Parking Panda (Update!) - Nick Miller

Parking Panda is growing quickly. A great mobile app. The iphone app was built by Mindgrub.

Reserve a parking space. AirBnB model allows people to rent private parking spaces. They also work with parking sites to maximize their yield. This gives drivers a discount on parking.

Parking Panda is providing the parking for the Baltimore Grand Prix.

Expanded to Washington DC and launching in San Francisco and Philadelphia.

SEO is important. People Google Where to park.

The platform is built on the Microsoft stack.

Other Notes:

Distilled Intelligence. A venue for startups.